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Myth
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Iroh
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 3:55 am    Post subject: Myth Reply with quote

Ten Motion Leaping Skull stalked about the camp silently, somehow muting even the clinking of the heavy tiles around his neck. There were new conscripts in camp, the last of the eligible fighting force that could be found in the villages around Madrigal. He sighed.

The Dark had taken every major city they besieged, sooner or later. Could Madrigal be any different? Rabican, one of the Nine led the garrison of the city, and the Legion was moving reinforce them, but Shiver, one of the Fallen Lords, was leading the army of the Dark that moved against the city. They had never challenged the Fallen before, and won.

He sighed and sat on a fallen tree by a fire, and warmed his hands. Whatever was coming, the end was nigh. If Madrigal fell, all they would have left to fall back to was Tandem, and then the ocean.
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Armaius
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 4:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oleg studied the forest carefully. It would serve for the night. He marched in and began setting up camp. In truth, he was grateful for a night's rest. War was all well and good, but sometimes a Dwarf needed rest. And a pint of ale.
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Iroh
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 4:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ten Motion watched the Dwarf pitch his tend and pick the stickers out of his boots. Most of the camp was turning in. The veterans were, anyway. The newbies were either too terrified or too excited.

One was being smart, the other stupid. In the end, both still got you killed. He examined the steel head of his shovel, and sighed. It was sad what passed for swordsmanship on this side of the Cloudspine.
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Kaya Tetsu



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 5:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eleena sat alone on a log semi-close the fire. She gazed at the dancing flames, occasionally glancing at her fellow conscripts, all lads. She gave a small sigh and slipped away from the group. None of them payed her any mind. The pigs were still busy shoveling down grub as if it was their last meal. She walked past her tent, which she'd taken the time to set up before eating and picked up her sword and shield along the way. Her bow and quiver already slung across her back. From there she made her way between the trees to a small clearing.

Once there she set down her bow and quiver, as well as the unwieldy shield. She would practice first with her sword then with the shield. She had not bothered with the armor tonight - it was not only heavy, but it was too large and she would practice with it another day. Free of those burdens, she moved to the center and began to practice, as she had every day since her bother's departure.
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Iroh
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 5:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ten Motion spied the girl, for she was a girl, practicing what must have passed for sword forms here. They were wooden, simple, the sword was a tool in her hands. It killed things, he supposed. It also got people killed.

A week ago a Ghol cut a man's fingers off. That man had held the sword the same way she was now. Thrall were mindless, shambling corpses that could only use huge axes to any effect. He'd seen men three times her weight knocked clear off their feet in that stance.

And he couldn't count how many had died from having their weapon knocked out their hands, her grip left much to be desired.

"Have we run out of warriors, that we much let a girl-child play at soldier now?" he commented ruefully.
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Kaya Tetsu



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 5:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eleena stopped mid form, turning to give the journeyman a glare that could've sent even some of the veterans running with their tails between their legs. She would not pretend to be anywhere near as skilled as any of these veterans, but girl or no she was better than most of not all of the lads and she was a quick learner. She did expect special treatment, nor did she want it.
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Iroh
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 5:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Her glare did little more than draw a tired glare in return from him. "I've seen more men die doing exactly what you are doing than you would believe live in any one place." He drew a slow breath.

"That sword isn't a hoe, or a shovel," he added with a note of distaste. "It isn't some tool for a country-bumpkin like yourself, or the majority of these poor souls who will die before the beginning of August. Half of them won't make it to the middle of this July," he sighed deeply. "That is a weapon, an expression of pure form and grace. It is part of the wielder, not merely a tool."

He got off the log and walked to his own tent. "The armies of the Light are barely armies at all," he said. "They're children with their father's responsibilities."
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Kaya Tetsu



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 6:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eleena watch him go, his words ringing in her ears. He was right, they were children with adult responsibilities...no she wouldn't think like that. The moment she doubted herself was the moment, she faltered in battle. She pushed the thoughts from her mind again, for now she needed to practice what she knew while she could. They said they'd train the conscripts,but in truth they more likely to see battle before the was much chance.

The girl walked over and collected her shield to practice with and after a while she gathered her bow and quiver and headed to her tent for the night. The exercise had calmed her nerves a bit, enough for her to sleep unlike the other conscripts who were too excited or too scared to sleep a wink.
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Iroh
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 6:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ten Motion looked over his two blades, his old swords he'd forsworn until the honor of the Heron Guard was restored. They were magnificent craftsmanship, steel folded so many times over itself, two (for the Heron Guard used single-edged swords) cutting edges so fine that silk split upon being dropped on them. The balance was superb, the hilt comfortable, the guard strong.

Yet for all their skill, all their martial prowess, their wonderful swords, they were not there when the Emperor needed them most. He bowed his head in shame, and hefted his shovel. This was who he was now. Until the Ibis Crown rested on the head of a true Emperor, he was merely a Journeyman.

He stepped out of his tent, bulky tool in hand. He'd give these conscripts some sort of instruction. They couldn't fail Madrigal like he did Muirthemne.
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Kaya Tetsu



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 6:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eleena lay listening to the sounds of the night, she'd only just lay down when she heard the journeymen moving back through camp towards the fire where the conscripts were gathered. She sighed, she did not want to speak to him right now. She did not want to speak to anyone really.
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Iroh
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 6:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

He began sparring with the ones who were gathered nearest. Most of these boys were worse than the girl had been. Even with their swords and shields and armor, he was wearing a bear, essentially, along with the weight of nine grown men around his neck. He showed them at the very least stances to assume in combat.

He also adjusted their grips. He couldn't make blademasters out of these boys in a night, or even in seven years, likely, but he could get them to kill at least a single Thrall before it did them in.

Initially, many of the conscripts scoffed at the idea of the 'healer' or 'that madman in the bearskin' wanted to spar men with swords with his shovel. These ideas were quickly dissolved he disarmed three of them in a three vs. one match.

"Get the other conscripts," he said to a young man, barely twenty, if that, who had to look of a rich man's son. "I won't have half this unit die in one skirmish." The captain only gave him an approving look. Orders came trickling down the chain of command in floods now that Shiver was on the move. He was a busy man, and they didn't have much time.

"You have shields," he barked at a few the of boys he was sparing a few minutes later, "Use them or toss the extra weight!" he grabbed one's head in his large hand and threw him to the ground, and rested a foot on his back. Then he pulled the boy up.

He decided that he had best describe what they were about to face to them, now. Perhaps they wouldn't freeze up when they saw their grandfather's corpse swing an axe at them.
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Kaya Tetsu



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 6:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eleena heard the summon and got up with a sigh. Slinging her quiver and bow across her back and grabbing her sword and shield as she walked out to the group of conscripts that the journeyman had not yet sparred. Many of the lads stood in awe or stared at the ground fidgeting nervously. Eleena watched the parring matches like a hawk, so that when it was her turn she would not repeat the same mistakes. She had every intent of making it out of the army alive and to do that she'd have to listen to journeyman weather she liked it or not.
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Iroh
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 6:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When the girl came up to spar him, he immediately noted a few things. "You'll have to fight differently than most of these young men," he intoned simply. "You have a height and a weight disadvantage, and you're hands are generally smaller as well."

After he was done with her, he actually could say something nice to this one as he hauled her out of the dirt. "You actually kept your guard up." Then he sent her back to the rest of them.

He struck the ground with his shovel, then began to describe the various forms of undead they would face soon. Thrall, lumbering corpses in piecemeal armor hefting huge, unwieldy axes. Soulless, hovering halves of skeletons covered in noxious clouds of poisons that hurl javelins coated in the stuff at you. Wights, fleshy bombs that oozed a paralyzing slime.

He also affirmed a fear many secretly had.

"If you have loved ones who have fallen in battle before," he said in a somber voice, "They may be in the army of the Dark as undead. Your brother, your friend, your neighbor could be that Thrall. Try not to think of them as people anymore."
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Kaya Tetsu



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 6:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eleena said nothing as the old man pulled her out of the dirt. She had not expected to win, she had in fact done better than she thought she would. She didn't know what to say to the compliment, if it could actually be called that.

She listened to his lecture about the creatures they would be facing, the more it sank in now, the less likely she was to be shaking in her boots later. There was a general feeling of unease among the conscripts at the mention of the undead and that they be the bodies of people they could have known. She clenched a fist as a nagging feeling began to form in the back of her mind, a sense of dread. What if one of them was her brother? or her father? what would she do, then?
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Iroh
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 6:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

With that, he ordered them to get some sleep and he returned to his tent. The next day would either bring marching south, toward Madrigal, or they'd secure the local villages more. Shiver was known for her brute force tactics, not her strategy. She would simply overwhelm, surround, and pound.

Yet seeing as her army was made up of the dead, casualties just bolstered her ability to do so. In any event, Ten Motion did not exactly look forward to his next assignment. Being a master warrior did not always translate into a love of battle.

The fir'Bolg were also turning in, they had been practicing their shots in the dark. Remarkably accurate as archers, that whole race seemed to be.

And Dwarves, well, Dwarves always smelled of smoke and oil.
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